Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
March 11, 2021
Quick, delicious, and not completely unhealthy breakfasts are this elusive trifecta. But I think these muffins fit all of those considerations. Between the grab-and-go nature of muffins, the flavorful espresso and chocolate chips, and a little bit of whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt, you’re covered. Breakfast decisions, meet these espresso chocolate chip muffins.
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I love using espresso powder to enhance the flavor of chocolate, but rarely does it get the chance to shine on its own. In these muffins, you can accentuate the flavor of the freshly brewed espresso with the powder for an extra punch. If you don’t have an espresso powder specific to baking, you can easily use instant espresso instead.
Of course, just because the espresso is the main flavor of these cupcakes, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one. The gooey, melty chocolate chips make these moist yogurt muffins feel a little bit decadent – especially for breakfast. And that’s always the way I like to start my days.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these espresso chocolate chip muffins at your grocery store. You can also order online using Amazon Fresh for grocery delivery.
- Fridge: Butter, Eggs, Yogurt
- Pantry: All purpose flour, White whole wheat flour, Baking soda, Brown sugar, Granulated sugar, Espresso, Chocolate chips
- Spice Rack: Salt, Espresso powder, Vanilla extract
- Equipment: Light-colored saucepan, Muffin pan, Mixing bowls, Whisk, Silicone spatula, Cooling rack
Let’s Make Espresso Muffins
I kind of glossed over it, because there are so many factors that make these muffins wonderful, but they start with a base of brown butter – one of my favorite, nutty flavors. This adds a little extra roasty toastiness to the espresso-flavored muffin batter.
Make the brown butter first so it has time to cool down before you’ll be mixing in the other room temperature liquid ingredients. In a small light-colored saucepan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. I like to use a white ceramic pan, so I can really see the color change, but stainless steel in good light will also work well.
Continue cooking after the butter melts, swirling the pan occasionally, as it boils and pops. When the popping mostly subsides, the butter will start to brown. Stop stirring, and watch carefully as the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to turn a light golden brown.
At that point, turn off the heat and transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl, making sure to scrape all the browned goodness from the bottom of the pan. Set it aside to cool for at least ten minutes.
Meanwhile, it’s a good time to preheat your oven and check that there is a rack in the center. You can also grease a standard muffin pan, or if you prefer, fill it with paper liners. If you haven’t brewed your espresso ahead of time, you can also do that now. Then it’s time to mix up the muffin batter!
We’re using a pretty standard wet and dry technique here, so get started with the dry ingredients first. In a medium mixing bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder and whisk these all together.
When your browned butter has cooled for about ten minutes, it should be a good temperature to start mixing in the other wet ingredients. However, adding the sugars first will help to cool it down just a bit more. Stir in both the white and brown sugars until it’s all combined.
Then add in the rest of the ingredients: eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract and the cooled brewed espresso. The yogurt here plays a big role in this recipe. Its acidity not only helps to activate the baking soda, creating a fluffy rise. But the creaminess also makes for an extra-moist crumb.
Whisk these all together until the eggs are broken up and everything is combined. There shouldn’t be any large brown sugar or yogurt chunks, just a nice, smooth mixture.
Add the mixed dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet, and then grab your silicone spatula. Combine these together using a folding motion, where you bring the batter up from the bottom of the bowl, and then turn your wrist to fold it over on itself.
It should only take a few minutes to get the dry ingredients incorporated into the wet, and at that point you should stop mixing. You want these to only be just combined, so there are no large dry pockets or streaks of flour.
But lumps are okay! Overmixing can cause all kinds of texture issues with a baked good that is supposed to be light. Adding the flour to the wet ingredients begins to activate gluten proteins, and stirring can lead to tough muffins instead of fluffy.
Finally, use the last couple folds of the batter to add in the chocolate chips. Muffin batter tends to be fairly thick, so you only need to mix enough to distribute the chips throughout. Only a few folds will do to suspend the chocolatey morsels within the batter.
Since your muffin pan has already been prepared, you can work quickly to fill the cups with batter. This recipe makes twelve standard muffins, and the batter fills each one about a three-quarters of the way full.
An easy and quick way to get uniform amounts of batter into the pan is by using an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop. Then, be sure you scrape out the bowl so you don’t miss out on any delicious muffins crumbs.
Bake the muffins for just around twenty minutes, checking them at around eighteen for the first time. Every oven is different, so if you know that yours runs hot or has hot spots, feel free to adjust the timing or rotate the pan partway through.
When the muffins are done, they will be slightly browned and have a dry appearance on the top and edges. Just to be sure, I like to insert a toothpick into the center of each one, and those should come out clean. You can also gently press the tops of the muffins, and they should bounce back to the nice slightly domed shape.
Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about ten minutes, until you are able to handle them without worrying about burns. This allows the pan to cool down while the residual heat continues to cook the edges of the muffins just a little bit extra.
Then remove them from the pan. If they are sticking, use a butter knife to gently work around the edges, and these should release fairly easily. Let the muffins cool completely on a wire rack. Then enjoy these immediately or store them for later.
Coffee and a muffin? Why not coffee in your muffin! Espresso chocolate chip muffins are the perfect delicious and easy breakfast.
How to Serve Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
The way I see it, every breakfast or brunch table should be built around a basket of muffins. So if you have the time and company to linger around a table, make these muffins part of your meal. Serve them warmed and wrapped in a towel with a spread of butter or chocolate hazelnut spread.
The espresso and chocolate flavors are versatile enough that you can pair these with nearly any other brunch dishes. For something savory, try a caramelized onion and balsamic cheesecake. Or if you are leaning sweeter, you can’t go wrong with a pear and apple crisp.
If you’re more on-the-run, well these muffins are perfect for that too. Grab one on the way out the door and eat it on the road. Or use the time you save from making these ahead to mix up a delicious hot beverage, like chai white hot chocolate or a coffee-shop style iced latte.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Greek yogurt doesn’t just make these muffins moist, but does the same for butternut squash curry cornbread.
- Feature chocolate chips in my favorite toaster oven mini skillet cookies for two or combine with fruit in cherry chocolate chip cookies.
- Use espresso powder to make chocolate taste even richer, like in the super fudgy rocky road black bean brownies.
- Brewed espresso is perfect for your morning coffee. For a fun twist, try it in a candy corn latte macchiato.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 10 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 ¼ Cups All-purpose flour
- ½ Cup White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Espresso Powder
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- ½ Cup Greek Yogurt room temperature
- 4 oz Freshly Brewed Espresso cooled to room temperature
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 ½ Cups Chocolate Chips ¼ of them finely chopped
- Brown the butter: In a small saucepan (light colored, if you have one), add the butter and melt over medium heat. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, as the butter boils and pops. Once the popping mostly subsides, watch the butter carefully until the solids sink to the bottom of the pot and begin to turn a light golden brown.Turn off the heat and transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center, and grease or line a standard 12-muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Add the sugars to the bowl with the butter, and stir to combined. Then add in the eggs, yogurt, vanilla and brewed espresso. Whisk until the eggs are broken up and everything is combined smoothly.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a silicone spatula, until just combined and there are no obvious pockets of flour. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Fill the prepared muffin cups about ¾ of the way full with the batter. Bake for 18-22 minutes until they are slightly browned on edges and toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5-10 min until cool enough to handle. Then cool fully on a wire rack. Enjoy fresh or store for later.
- Make ahead tips: Store the fully cooked and cooled muffins in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 1-2 months. Defrost frozen muffins in the fridge overnight, and warm cool muffins in the microwave before eating.
- Variations: Try replacing the chocolate chips with butterscotch or espresso chips.